Economy vs. Winning

For the first time in nearly twenty years, the Kansas City Chiefs were forced to blackout a game on local television after failing to sell out Arrowhead Stadium for the final home game of the 2009 season.  A combination of a losing team with a down economy doomed the Chiefs sellout streak, a problem that could carry into 2010.

Clark Hunt talked to The Star’s Adam Teicher about how the current economic climate makes for a unique set of circumstances for selling tickets.

“Talking about the sports industry, this is as challenging a time as there has ever been to sell tickets,’’ Hunt said.  “I follow what’s going on in the other leagues.  I see what’s going on in the industry.  Ticket sales across the NFL were down for the first time in I don’t know how many years.

“I’m not sure what the mix is between the economy and the team’s performance.  Hopefully this year we’ll have a better performance on the field.  We’ll have the new Arrowhead Stadium, which I think our fans will really be excited about.  We all have our fingers crossed that the economy is turning the corner.’’

Hunt indicated the Chiefs are counting on the amenities in the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium — wider concourses, more restrooms, expanded concessions, the Chiefs Hall of Honor and Founder’s Plaza honoring Lamar Hunt — to help sell some tickets.

The changes at Arrowhead will initially help sell some tickets, as all teams see a bump in attendance during their first year in a new stadium.  But no matter how well the economy is doing, the Chiefs won’t get to starting a new streak until they start winning football games again.

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